Rodney Hide on Panama Papers

Rodney Hide discusses the Panama Papers at NBR:

I must admit to bitter disappointment.  I wouldn’t have had such high hopes if it was just Nicky Hager but the big reveal was to be different: top journalists at TVNZ and RNZ had spent a week-and-a-half trolling though the data ahead of its public release.

They were promising the “biggest new development” in the “Panama Papers scandal.”

I had some qualms. The information was private and personal. It was stolen. Innocent people’s private affairs were to be made public.

There was also the promise of political carnage.

But against that, Mr Hager declared, “What the Panama Papers show without any doubt at all, absolutely conclusively, is that New Zealand is functioning as a tax haven.”

And it was not just Mr Hager: TVNZ’s Andrea Vance said New Zealand “ticked all the boxes.”


I have always wanted my assets stashed away from snooping eyes and grasping government.

That’s because Inland Revenue is depriving me of the right to go about my life and business without interference. Government agents can at any time open up my financial affairs through third parties without warrant and without notice.

There is no financial privacy.

What’s more, the IRD deprives me of privacy to deprive me of my property. It’s a disgusting double whammy.

Hence, the attraction of a foreign trust.

But the mechanics have always eluded me.

No more. Mr Hager and his team were to reveal  all. Even better: They declared New Zealand a tax haven.

How fantastic. I could hide my income and receive it tax free.

The promised day finally arrived.

What a disappointment. The big reveal was a fizzer.

New Zealand is no tax haven. There’s no mechanism for me to hide my assets.

I wonder when the left-wing are going to stop reading from the Gospel of Saint Nicky. There is no tax haven status in NZ. Just because a few left-wing acolytes of Saint Nicky declare it to be so doesn’t make it so.

I had hoped that just this once Mr Hager and New Zealand’s “top” journalists had it right. Sadly not.

But their hysteria should make us stop and think. Why do journalists think it okay to crack open people’s business?

Why can’t we have financial privacy?

It was Mr Hager himself who squealed his right to privacy when the police asked and obtained his bank statements without his knowledge. I came out in support of him at the time.

How come he thinks it okay for the IRD to be doing the same every day and to anyone and how come he thinks it okay for journalists to make stolen and private financial information public because – I don’t even know his reasoning?

And why can’t we keep what we earn?

Why in a world of mobile capital are we allowing governments to expand their power and surveillance to tax every last drop?

Why indeed? We should give up on income tax and opt for a consumption tax only and user pays. We could all live income tax free, safe from prying eyes.

Nicky Hager cries about his own privacy but is in reality a panty sniffing arsehole.



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